Early hypotension worsens neurological outcome in pediatric patients with moderately severe head trauma

Evan R. Kokoska, Gregory S. Smith, Thomas Pittman, Thomas R. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine the morbidity associated with hypotension in the resuscitative phase of pediatric head trauma. Methods: A retrospective review (1990 to 1995) was performed at a level-1 pediatric trauma facility. Inclusion criteria included a Glasgow coma score (GCS) of 6 to 8 and absence of penetrating trauma or bleeding disorders. The GCS was assigned using a postresuscitation examination by a neurosurgeon. Hypotension was defined as a blood pressure reading of less than the fifth percentile for age that lasted longer than 5 minutes. Episodes were monitored from the onset of injury through the first 24 hours of hospitalization. Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) was assigned based on a 3-month follow-up evaluation. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and contingency table analysis were performed on all groups, and a P value of less than .05 was taken to represent statistical significance. Results: Seventy-two patients met inclusion criteria. They had a mean GCS of 7.2 and a mean age of 6 years; 97% survived. Early hypotension was associated with worse neurological outcome (GOS) and prolonged hospitalization. There was no significant correlation between GOS and age, gender, injury mechanism, associated injuries, or transport time. Conclusions: These data suggest that maintaining adequate blood pressure during the early resuscitation of pediatric blunt head trauma patients may improve neurological outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Glasgow Outcome Scale
  • Hypotension
  • Pediatric head trauma
  • Pediatric trauma score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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